Child Safety During the Holidays

There are many precautions to take around the holiday season regarding the safety of children. Many decorating items and gifts can be hazardous to your child’s safety but if you plan correctly, you can keep your child safe this holiday season. Many parents don’t consider the below when prepping for the holiday season but these tips can help keep your child healthy and safe throughout the season.

Be cautious while decorating. If you have toddlers in your home, consider setting up a tabletop tree this year. This discourages your little one from pulling the tree down on top of him and keeps ornaments out of reach. Be careful where you hang mistletoe and display holly berries. Both are poisonous to humans and pets. If you have a full size tree, place antique or heirloom ornaments near the top of the tree. These old ornaments may still contain lead paint. Avoid bubble lights. These lights often contain methylene chloride, which can be converted to carbon monoxide if swallowed.

Be vigilant of the gifts given. Purchase age-appropriate toys. Children younger than age 3 should not have toys that are less than 1 ¼ inches in diameter and 2 ¼ inches in length. Pull strings should be less than 12 inches. Before purchasing a gift, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website at for a list of recalls.

Make your holiday party kid friendly. Remind visitors to be aware of the items they bring into your home. Visitors may bring medications that look similar to candy for your child. Make sure all medications are stored safely from the reach of your children. Don’t rest alcoholic drinks within reach during or after parties. Even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous to children. Dispose of leftover drinks immediately after the party ends.

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  • Name: Gwenn Christianson
  • Posted: 12/22/2013

If a child - or adult! - does taste an ornament, ingest the wrong medication, or get into a left-over alcoholic drink, please call the Indiana Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for expert help right away!  The expert nurses and pharmacists at Indiana Poison Center are available 24/7/365 to help you with these type of situations - and many others - and calls are always free and confidential.